It was a dark Thursday evening when the sergeant stepped out of his vehicle with his squadron already assembled in front of the warehouse, eady, behind their car door taking cover. Some remained silent while others whispered to their supporting officers their concerns for the events that were about to unfold. The sergeant remained resilient but cool
through his character, making sure as to not lose focus or reveal fear to the other officers. With one last deep breath he walked slowly to the closest officer and requested “What’s the situation?” to which his colleague replied “We have him trapped Sir but he may be still be armed”. The sergeant quickly glanced at the door and responded calmly “Okay tell everyone to stay cautioned, I’m going in …...alone”
“Sir but you can’t- “
“I said I’m going in alone….” The sergeant repeated with a serious tone behind his voice. The officer could only give a shaking sigh as he admired his leader’s determination but also couldn’t help his fear over his life. Just as the sergeant began to take head to the warehouse, the officer immediately grabbed his shoulder “Sir please …” The sergeant turned his head back “…. just be careful okay?” the officer asked worriedly.
“Thanks Ben, I’ll be fine” the sergeant answered calmly and with that he carried on walking to the warehouse front pushing away any thoughts of regret and cowardice. He had to be strong and face his demons but there was always fighting thoughts circulating his consciousness. Turn back his mind echoed, NO! he argued back this has to end now.
Climbing up the footsteps he stood before the door and with one last breath he proceeded to turn the handle and push open the solid door. Darkness was the only sight he saw, which was when sudden fear of anxiousness started to creep in. The sergeant took a few steps forward feeling blind and powerless he could only hear the thumping vibration coming from his heart. It’s not too late his mind reminded him, let the others deal with him. It’s too dangerous. The sergeant let out a quick sigh and began to whisper words of encouragement to himself “I can do this…. I can do this…. I can do this….” And continued walking forwards.
With added confidence the sergeant walked with more pace until he stumbled on something on the ground. CRASH! The noise made and suddenly the sergeant held his breath and halted his position. He swiftly reached into his pocket and pulled out his torch only to flick the switch on and point to the ground. Figures. He noticed he accidentally kicked a bucket and let out another sigh of relief. With the torch in hand he started to walk more cautiously and began to look for the light switch while taking in views of the warehouse. Finding table desks and chairs he concluded that he must be in an empty office space that must have been abandoned. But why? And for how long? “No” he whispered “This isn’t the time to worry about that now” and with that he dismissed his curiosity and continued onward.
A few steps later the sergeant began to notice a foul stench coming from a section of the room. He walked further forward but the smell got even stronger. A rancid, wicked odour began to fill his nostrils as he started coughing and hurling from the vile stench trapped in his nose. Covering his nose, he flashed his light to the direction of smell and could vaguely see what was causing such a horrendous smell. Edging closer to the source he finally understood the nature of the stench…...a decaying, rotten, infested corpse was lying in the corner of the room. Bending down and inspecting the body, the sergeant summarised that the body must be at least year old, coming from a man who could be in his forties. He also noticed the victim’s hand (or what was left of it) clenched on to something trapped underneath a desk and found what he believed to be a magnum. “Must have been suicide” the sergeant muttered “Poor guy….” and with that the sergeant stood up and made a U turn to look for the switch.
After a few minutes of searching the sergeant came to a stop and laid his back against a column of the warehouse. Shining the torch to his watch he calculated he must have taken at least 15 minutes to search for the switch. “Dammit” he muttered, this is taking way too long he thought to himself, to which he began to feel a sudden soreness coming from his neck. Fed up and exhausted he laid his head back to the column only to feel something itching the back of his scalp. He quickly turned around and fixed his torch to the object. “Hallelujah” the sergeant rejoiced as he placed his finger on the switch and flicked the tiny lever. The ceiling began to create a static sound but eventually dimmed out a faint brightness to the room, but before he could have a full vison of the warehouse, he felt a cold, metallic object pointed at his head. “You took your time old man” the figure behind him said.
“Sorry” the sergeant replied “My detection isn’t what it used to be at my current age”
“How did you find me?” the figure questioned
“It was easy….” the sergeant responded “I just followed the clues of dead bodies you left behind…” to which the figure just scoffed at the response.
“Arms up” the figure instructed. “What?” the sergeant answered “I said arms up!” the figure repeated to which the sergeant followed slowly and raised up his arms. Next the figure commenced to search him, still with weapon pointed at his head and proceeded to question him further.
“You clean?” the figure asked to which the sergeant answered back to him “I’m clean…”
“Oh…” the figure replied “too bad you couldn’t keep clean when Mum was around aye?” he said coldly
“SHUT UP!” Andrew yelled aggressively and finally stopped his search. “Back up and turn around …. slowly” he instructed, to which the sergeant again followed. “Why are you doing this Andrew?” the sergeant asked fearfully to which Andrew responded with a sinister smile “I want to look at your face before I kill you”
“Andrew whatever this is, we can get talk about this” the sergeant pleaded. “You don’t have to do this…”
“I think it’s a bit too late for talking don’t you?” Andrew said emotionless “Fourteen years too late...” It was at this point the sergeant could sense the blood thirsty aura coming from Andrew and looked at his eyes. Gone were eyes of an innocent soul, replaced with an icy, dark and soulless human with nothing but passion for revenge. It hurt him as all he could do was feel responsible for Andrew’s path of crime.
“Andrew this isn’t you…. What would Sandra say? –“
“DON’T YOU DARE SPEAK ABOUT MY MOTHER!!” Andrew bellowed “You have NO RIGHT to ever mention her name”
“You’re right…” the sergeant said guilt ridden. “I’m sorry” he apologised.
“Sorry?” Andrew said shocked “Sorry?....... I don’t want your bullshit sorry!” he exclaimed “How about you take that sorry and apologise to someone who deserves it…. Like Mum…. oh wait you can’t because she’s dead!” he explained furiously “You didn’t even bother coming to her funeral” This made the sergeant go silent as he stood there full of guilt and embarrassment. “That doesn’t nearly excuse the majority of the time where you were pumped full of drugs. You know I still have nightmares about you beating me?” he continued. “Then when that wasn’t enough you took it out on Mum. She was pregnant and yet you still treated her like crap. She still blamed herself you know? Even on her deathbed, she blamed herself for the miscarriage. You weren’t there when she used to cry at night, from the pain, the burden, the memories, everything you caused.”
“Andrew……I had no idea…”-
“Of course you didn’t!” Andrew said hatefully “Why would you? You just went off with that slag that you cheated with and made happy families, while you left me and Mum in the past, like some piece of expired bread” He looked back at the sergeant with disgust and anguish, wanting nothing more than to end the root of his entire problems. He could see that his words were getting through to him. Yes! That’s exactly what Andrew wanted.
“But why Andrew?” the sergeant asked concerned. “Why would you want to kill innocent people? Is this some sick, twisted, evil scheme of revenge?”
“Innocent?” Andrew answered mockingly “Those so called innocent victims that you care so much about are the epitome of disgrace. They don’t deserve their pathetic lives. I executed them because they were everything a husband….no……a father…….no…. a human should never be. As far as I see it I’ve done the whole world a huge favour” He relished in the words he spoke, as if he had a true sense of purpose. “All I killed were dead beat fathers, unfaithful husbands, crooks, criminals…anyone who threated to vilify in the name of honour”
“What the hell are you talking about?” the sergeant asked, more puzzled than ever. “This doesn’t make sense…..what are you trying to do? Murder any man to fill your need for social justice? That’s not your call to make Andrew. You’re only going to hurt people and ruin their lives”
“You’re right” Andrew replied “But do you really want to know why I do this? Because I don’t want families to have someone like you in their lives” He said sternly “And after I kill you my goal will be accomplished, the man who started all of this, the man who sits at the top of the chain…. You!” he said coldly while gesturing a sickly grin, one that only be held with malicious intent. Andrew raised the gun, calm and unnerved and took aim at the sergeant. “This is where you die old man”
“You’re trapped Andrew. You know they’ll kill you once you’re done with me” the sergeant tried to explain. “Please just put the gun down and hand yourself in. I don’t want you dead”
“Well too bad because I really want you dead” Andrew replied bluntly. The sergeant understood that there was no getting through to him. Andrew had held his vendetta against him for so long it looked impossible to sway his mind. He could only accept what his actions had resulted too. Andrew continued giving him the same icy look but this time took off the safety and pulled on the hammer. The sergeant looked away from his killer and muttered underneath his breath “I’m sorry Sandra I failed you and him”. Time moved slow, silence filled the room as the presence of impending death lurked throughout the warehouse. Seconds had passed but nothing had occurred. The sergeant lifted his head up and glanced at the situation only to find something had shocked him. Andrew’s hand began trembling as he tried to fix his aim but he was finding it difficult to do so.
“Leave me alone!” Andrew cried out as he attempted to hold his shaking arm with his other hand, which proved useless. He was still shaking and felt sweat dripping from his forehead. “I said leave me ALONE!” he repeated but this time with more frustration. Why now?! He screamed unconsciously WHY AT THIS MOMENT?! His head felt like a battle zone had erupted with the same voice clouding his mind “STOP!” he shouted “PLEASE NOT NOW!” Andrew knew the voice already and dreaded hearing it again. Honey let go of your hate the voice echoed. Filled with rage Andrew kept swinging into the air, hoping the noise would disappear. Andy it’s okay… the voice continued then suddenly Andrew saw her. Standing behind the sergeant was the only person Andrew had ever loved…his mother Sandra dressed in her favourite white silk dress. She looked like a descended angel, ready to take Andrew away from this hell.
“Mum?” Andrew whimpered “Andy please don’t go through with this…” the woman responded. “I have to Mum!” he reasoned “He’s the whole cause of everything that happened to me…. to us…. I can’t let him get away with it any longer” he beamed out with tears running down his face. “Son” she replied “I only want what’s best for you but you carry too much pain, too much suffering. Don’t let it twist you. Rise from your hatred. Be happy, be free I’ll always love you” and with that final message the woman vanished from his sight. Still shrouded in madness Andrew wanted to end it all and pulled the weapon to his own temple. “NOOO!” the sergeant shouted and quickly lunged towards Andrew, stopping him from pulling the trigger but knocking both of them pressed onto a column, with the gun slipping out of Andrew’s hand and sliding to the far side of the room.
“Why did you stop me?” Andrew chocked out with his throat pressed on by the sergeant’s forearm. “Because I’m not going to let you go out like that” the sergeant replied. Filled with nothing but rage Andrew head-butted the Sergeant and watched him stagger back to which he proceeded to strike a blow to his cheek. Thwack, the connection made the sergeant wince in pain as he tried to wipe blood from his lips but a second punch from Andrew landed onto his other cheek. Adrenaline kicked in and before a third strike could be performed, the sergeant countered and released a forced punch, heavy enough to make Andrew also stagger backwards. But this only pleasured Andrew as he spat out blood and welcomed the pain. Andrew lowered his body and charged towards the sergeant, grabbing him and pushing until the sergeant hit a desk and had his upper body laid flat. Andrew used this opportunity to force himself over him and continued delivering punches to his face, unleashing all his power through his fists. Dazed the sergeant tried to create a counter and successfully grabbed onto a phone and swung directly at Andrew watching him fall back and moan in pain.
Andrew shaking his head discovered an old rusty metal pipe laid on the floor and picked up the weapon, while smiling with glee and walked slowly to the sergeant, who was still recovering from the desk beating. With a big wide swing, Andrew hammered down the pipe to the sergeant who narrowly dodged the attack and rolled off the table to stand up, infuriating Andrew further. He continued swinging the pipe in all directions with a slow thrust to which the sergeant kept dodging, ducking low and creating space to pivot. With one more swing the sergeant countered and grabbed onto the pipe causing an intense match of tug of war before he kicked Andrew in his abdominal region, causing him to roll backwards onto the ground. The sergeant looked to pipe and threw it away before returning his gaze onto Andrew and walked over to him slowly. “I DON’T WANT TO FIGHT YOU ANDREW” he exclaimed “We don’t have to do this”
Andrew continued laying on the floor, defeated and drained from fight he too wanted it to end just as much as the sergeant did. “You fight good old man” he complimented “You’re right. This has gone on far enough” By this time the sergeant had stood beside Andrew and looked to give him a weak smile of relief to which Andrew acknowledged and shared a small chuckle “What’s so funny?” the sergeant asked calmly. “Oh nothing” Andrew positively responded “Just can’t believe I actually got my ass kicked by an old man”
“Hey I’m not that old!” the sergeant replied to which he also chuckled back to Andrew. “Do you think you could help me out a bit?” Andrew asked as he held out his hand in a friendly gesture. “Sure” the sergeant answered as he grabbed onto Andrew’s hand and aided him to stand up but it was too late. He’d fallen for his character which gave Andrew the perfect opportunity to tackle him to the floor and climb over him. Using all his strength Andrew proceeded to choke the sergeant, holding onto his neck and squeezing like as if he were a vice grip. He felt the sergeant struggle to push him off, wailing his arms and kicking his feet were useless, it would be all over soon. Andrew grinned with pleasure as he could see the sergeant frightened with terror. Eyes wide open he loved seeing the sergeant gasp for air. It amused him, it excited him. Yes! He could feel his body weakening and licked his lips with anticipation, ready to bask in marvel at his dead body. Oh he could picture it so vividly how glorious.
It was all over for the sergeant as he felt his body giving up on him. Is this it? he questioned himself. Is this how I’m going to die?... He felt his heart beat slowing down and gradually his will began to fade. He gazed back at Andrews eyes and could see the excitement in them. Excitement in death, excitement as his goal will be achieved. But wait there was another thing, and it struck to him like a lightbulb. Andrews eyes was the same colour as Sandra’s. The sergeant never took notice of them until this very moment. He could finally see Sandra in Andrew and remember past moments with her that he held so dear to him. A fire lit inside his body, he couldn’t let Sandra down in death and have her child carry on with the way he is. He had to stop him, even if it meant death. The sergeant grabbed onto Andrews arms and used all his last energy to push against them. He wasn’t sure if it would work but he can’t go down without even trying.
Andrew looked at him puzzled to which he muttered “Why are you resisting?” and continued to squeeze with all of his might. The sergeant felt the extra strength added and felt the fire in his body grow bigger and bigger and used it as a source for strength as he pushed back with double the effort. Andrew felt his grip beginning to slowly loosen and grew more and more frustrated. “JUST FUCKING DIE!!” he belted out with fury. The sergeant could feel Andrew’s rage which was decreasing his strength and increasing his opening. Whatever was happening it was working as the sergeant, forcefully pushed his arms wider and wider (much to Andrew’s disappointment) and with one last push he swung Andrew’s arms around. Before Andrew even got the chance the sergeant grabbed onto an attempted punch by him and returned the favour. One. Two. Three jabs to Andrew’s face before he began to stumble and just to be certain the sergeant grabbed onto Andrew’s head, tilt his head back as far as he can and unleashed a solid head butt. Andrew rolled off the sergeant and cried out in pain while the sergeant gently stroked his throat while gasping for air.
Andrew couldn’t believe it. He had the sergeant’s death right in front of him and yet he still lost HOW?! He screamed inside his head HOW THE HELL DID HE DO THAT?! Hate was an understatement of how he felt. He wanted nothing more than to kill him but so far it was as if destiny had a different idea for him. He was at an end and had no clue on what to do next so without thinking, he closed his eyes and began to pray Lord please grant me the serenity to end this filth and send him to the pits of hell.. Andrew opened his eyes and to his amazement, like a symbol from God, he found his gun that was tossed away. He slowly picked himself up and began to make heed towards the weapon. The sergeant turned his head and finally noticed that Andrew was walking towards his gun. Turning his head, he caught a whiff of the same dead body in the corner “The MAGNUM!” He grunted and stood up and hastily ran to collect the gun from the body.
Both men drew their weapons to each and slowly began to step forwards with caution until they came to sudden halt and faced each other. Silence dawned the room as both men could feel the deadly tension that roamed in the atmosphere. “Well, well, well look what we have here” Andrew commented “A good ol’ fashioned stand off”
“I was never into Western flicks myself” the sergeant replied jokingly. Andrew let off a little smirk “Mum was always a fan of Clint Eastwood” he informed. “She always wanted us to get a cowboy themed picture as a family. Ironic don’t you think?...”
“Look… Andrew… I’m sorry for everything” the sergeant said humbly “I know I messed up as a terrible husband and an even worse Father. I was a stupid, lazy, inconsiderate fool who was hooked onto drugs and my own needs. I was a waste of space that should have been there when my family actually needed me the most. I was a coward, a selfish coward who couldn’t live up to his responsibility. You’re right to blame me not just for this but…. Everything. It was my fault Sandra died and words can never describe how deeply regretful I am.”
“Sorry doesn’t bring her back Brian” Andrew responded back coolly “However….I do admire your nobility to the cause. Yeah sure you messed up but I can at least appreciate that you’re doing the right thing. I think that’s what Mum would have wanted, for you to stop me. I regret the path that I followed but at least it ends with you”
“It still doesn’t have to end like this” Brian pleaded one last time. “Sorry Brian” Andrew replied “There’s no going back now” Both men gaze at each other for the last time, looking deep into each other’s eyes with Brian looking at the young, sweet innocent boy he left behind and Andrew looking at the determined, mature man he once called his Father. Both ready their aim and shut their eyes so as not to get distracted, both of them wishing for the other person to kill them, so they don’t have to live with the consequences that follows.
“I love you Son….” Brian says
“I love you Dad….” Andrew finally admits.
BANG!....... A gunshot is heard and a body slumps to the floor.
Silence slowly begins to then digest the room once more.
By Crawford Kalu